Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Sean O'Neal From Chicago PD Looks So Familiar

As "Chicago P.D." forges ahead through its 10th season, the absence of longtime cast member Jesse Lee Soffer continues to be felt. It continues to impact the series' narrative as well, with some in the Intelligence Unit still reeling from the sudden departure of Jay Halstead. Still, "Chicago P.D." creatives have, so far, done a great job at keeping the Intelligence team busy with intriguing new cases.

They've also been pretty busy bringing new faces into the I.U. crew's orbit. The latest episode of "Chicago P.D." continued that trend with the arrival of Sean O'Neal. Titled "Pink Cloud," the episode found the Intelligence Unit uncovering a human trafficking ring in their search for a missing girl. The investigation eventually leads them to O'neal, a slightly shady new character who runs a local outreach program for teens. By the episode's end, we learn that not only is Sean a recovering addict and the son of Chicago's Chief of Police Patrick O'Neal (Michael Gaston), but he may also be involved with that recently discovered trafficking ring.

Odds are you recognized the actor portraying the seemingly two-faced Sean O'Neil, Jefferson White. Here's where you've seen him before.

Jefferson White's first big TV role came on How to Get Away with Murder

Though Jefferson White is still relatively early in his career, he's already got an impressive body of work to his name. He earned his first legit acting credit for a more than memorable turn as a wayward sailor on one of the best and most well-loved TV shows ever made, FX's crackling spy drama "The Americans." He followed that gig with a guest spot on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and a significant role in WGN's underrated Atomic Bomb drama "Manhattan." But, it's safe to say White's career got one of its biggest bumps in 2015 when he joined the cast of ABC's Emmy-winning hit "How to Get Away with Murder."

That series fronted the great Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, a brilliant Philadelphia attorney and law professor who, along with several of her top students, become key figures in all manner of high-profile murder cases. Jefferson White became a major player in one of those cases as well when he joined the series' cast for a multi-episode narrative in Season 2. He did so as Philip Jessup, a troubled young man whose life story is the very definition of complicated. So, too, is the case Philip is a part of. We won't spoil the particulars of Jessup's 7-episode arc. But we will say it was arguably one of the series' best, and that White's work in the role was absolutely captivating.

White plays the cowboy least likely on Yellowstone

Television producers were clearly impressed with Jefferson White's work in "How to Get Away with Murder," as the actor was soon booking gigs on several shows of note, including "Blue Bloods," "House of Cards," "Blindspot," and "The Alienist." But in 2018 White's career entered the small screen stratosphere when he was tapped by Taylor Sheridan to play a key role in his neo-Western drama "Yellowstone." 

The series debuted on Paramount Network in June of 2018, fronting an impressive cast led by Hollywood legend Kevin Costner. By Summer's end, "Yellowstone" had become not just the breakout hit of the season, but likely the entire year. The show has only grown in popularity over the ensuing seasons. Though he came into the series with less notoriety than some costars, Jefferson White has become a fan favorite among the show's cast for his affably astute portrayal of the sometimes dim-witted Dutton Ranch-hand Jimmy Hurdstrom.

Considered by some to be the heart of the show (per Collider), Jimmy's transformation from low-level criminal to legit cowboy with a heart of gold continues to rank among the most thrilling narratives on "Yellowstone." That's saying a lot for a series that fronts all manner of murder, mayhem, political posturing, and, of course, bull-riding. Thankfully, after months of doubt (spawned from the character's unexpected Season 4 arc), White recently confirmed to ET Canada that Jimmy will indeed be back for Season 5. And we cannot wait to see what's ahead.

God's Country found White playing a very bad man

At this point in his career, Jefferson White has largely been a player in small-screen ventures. He has, however, continued to find big screen work on the indie film scene. While White is soon to be seen in highly anticipated projects from Alex Garland and "Lady Macbeth" helmer William Oldroyd, the actor delivered one of his best big-screen turns to date in one of 2022's more egregiously overlooked indies. 

That film is called "God's Country," and the critically adored (per Rotten Tomatoes) thriller finds Thandie Newton portraying Sandra Guidry, a college professor and Montana transplant battling racial and misogynistic discrimination in both her personal and professional lives. Much of the film is focused on the personal side of Sandra's life, which is thrown into flux after she catches a less-than-friendly pair of locals trespassing on her property while they're hunting. What follows is a slow-burning but ever-escalating game of wits and wills as Sandra takes increasingly dramatic measures in dealing with the dastardly locals.

As you might've guessed, Jefferson White plays one of those nefarious hunters. While his hot-headed yet soft-spoken Samuel is maybe not the worst of the worst among the local crew, White imbues the character with enough thinly-veiled menace to convince anyone otherwise. White's turn in "God's Country" is about as far a cry from his work as Jimmy Hurdstrom as one can imagine. And it's a testament to the fact we've only just begun to see how good he can be.